One of Porsche’s most extreme motorsports products of all time came back in the late 1960s when the race team wanted to vie for European hillclimb titles. While the 908 had proven a bit successful, what was needed was a smaller, lighter, and more nimble car to really crank up the competition a notch. What came was the no-compromise 909 Bergspyder. This car was essentially a large go kart with the 908’s aircooled flat eight out back. Porsche Motorsport constructed a car with 275 horsepower and an as-raced weight of just 847 pounds. The car used really trick components to get its weight down as low as possible. The car was constructed from a aluminum spaceframe with extremely thin fiberglass bodywork (weighing just 22 pounds) over the top. The fuel tank was a pressurized ball of titanium, using air pressure rather than a heavy fuel pump to deliver fuel to the engine. The brake rotors were constructed from lightweight beryllium, which was effective, but the fumes from hot beryllium are actually toxic. There isn’t a single piece of steel in the original 909 Bergspyder.
This car, available for bidding on Bring A Trailer right now, is not a 909 Bergspyder, but if you squint and use your imagination a little, it kinda looks like a 909 Bergspyder. This car was custom built in 1980 from a steel tube frame with riveted aluminum sheet panels for the bodywork and tub with a fiberglass nose. It was built in central Florida for use in the SCCA’s C Sports Racer class. The seller estimates that the car weighs a little over 1000 pounds, and the engine mounted out back is capable of around 150 horsepower. That’s still pretty exciting, but it’s nowhere near as fast as Porsche’s original 909.
So what exactly powers this thing? Instead of a 2-liter flat eight that revs to the moon and back, this car features a Type 4 motor from a 914. This was originally a 2.0-liter making 90-ish horsepower, but it’s been upgraded with high compression 2.2-liter pistons and cylinders, and the cylinder heads have been reconditioned to flow more air. The factory fuel injection has been ditched for a pair of Weber 45 IDF carbs, MSD electronic ignition, a massive oil cooler, and a Fat Performance upright fan conversion. Having owned a modified type-4-powered Porsche for several years, this is a stout engine and should be fairly reliable for a very long time, but it’s not going to push this car to 60 miles per hour in 2.4 seconds like the 909 Bergspyder. Especially considering the engine is tied to a Volkswagen 4-speed manual mounted out back with thick hefty halfshafts.
I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look the part, though. You’d be the talk of the paddock at your next PCA track day in the driver’s seat of this bad boy. If that’s the kind of thing you’re into, go bid on this machine right now.
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